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'■'"■ ''OBERT- E, COWAN COLLECTION 

I'RKSKNTRD TO THK 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 



Recess iori No, / 



C, P, HUNTINGTON 

lUNE, 1897. 

Glass'No. 





University of California • Berkeley 



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Contents of No. 9, Vol. III. 

Sponges. By Bryce M. Wright, jr. Illustrated, p. 449. 

Kambkes in Flohida, By K. K. C. Stearns. Concluded, p. 455. 
y" Thk Natuualist in Calikohnia. By J. G. Cooper, M.D. p. 470. 
"' Hints on Taxidekmy. By C. A. WalkeiC Concluded, p. 481. 

The Fresh-watek Aquarium. By C. B. Brighum. p. 48G. 

Reviews. The Development of Insects, p. 490. The Generations of 
Worms, p. 494. Florida and the South, p. 494. Annals of Bee Culture. 
p. 494. 

Natural History Miscellany. Botany. — Tendency of Floral Organs 
to Exchange Offices, p. 494. Herbarium of the late Dr. Walker-Arnott. 
p. 495. New Locality of Aspidium aculatum (L) Sw. p. 495. Zo- 
ology.— A llemarkable Echinoderm. p. 495. The Tennessee Warbler, 
p. 496. Golden-winged Warbler, p. 497. Coral Snakes, p. 497. The 
Black Vulture in Maine, p. 498. il/tcroscoj;*j/. —Method of Preserving 
Animal Specimens for fine dissection, p. 498. Geology.— The Eozoou 
in Essex County, p. 498. 

Proceedings of the American Association eor the Advancement 
of Science, p. 499. 

Valuable Library fo)i Sale. p. 503. 

Correspondence, p. 503. 

Books Received, p. 504. 

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I 



RAMBLES IN FLORIDA. 469 

as if placed by human hands. It required no flight of the 
imagination to transform these charming forest vistas into 
the long, dim, aisles of cathedrals ; the trunks of the trees 
formiug the pillars, and the graceful leaves of the palmetto, 
overarched, forming a roof. 

" The gloves were God's first temples." 

We sat up late, enjoying the glories of the night, the last 
of our out-door camping in Florida. Early the followiug 
morning we "broke camp" and prepared for the return trip 
to Cedar Keys. Hoisting the anchor with a cheerful "heave 
yo," the sails of the Santa Maria soon tilled, and we were 
homeward bound. We gave a farewell look by way of a 
parting salute to Piney Key, as it stood out bright and beau- 
tiful in the purple light of the morning : 

The slanting sun shone white along the sand, 
Strewn with green sea-weeds and with crimson shells, 
Out of the ocean's dim mysterious cells, 

Jewelling all the broadskirts of the land. 

Arriving at Cedar Keys after a pleasant voyage, we pro- 
ceeded homeward over the same route by which we came. 

The winter climate of Florida is not only healthful but 
delightful ; in the summer there is dansrer of contractins: 
fever and ague, and the yellow fever is an occasional visitor. 
The climatic advantages to the invalid are at the present 
time counterbalanced by the miserable food and discomforts 
of the hotels and boarding houses; there are undoubtedlv 
exceptions to the last objection, but they are rare. The ex- 
penses of a three months trip are quite heavy and we could 
make a journey to Europe or California, of the same dura- 
tion for the same cost, and live intiuitely better in bed and 
board. 

In an agricultural point of view Florida offers no induce- 
ments to the emigrant or settler that are not surpassed by 
many other sections of the country, whether quality of soil, 
facilities of transportation, accessibility to markets, or va- 
riety or capabilities of production are considered. An emi- 



470 NATURALIST IN CALIFORNIA. 

gration of enterprising and inclnstrious people, in snfficient 
numbers so as to exercise a controlling!: influence, would in a 
few years effect a great change for the better, and place the 
State in the line of progress. The average Floridian of 
to-day understands only one thing, and that is "how not to 
do it." Emigration should be by colonies, and should in- 
clude some mechanics, and be Avell provided with all neces- 
sary agricultural and mechanical implements and material, 
in order to be successful, and great care should be exercised 
in the selection of a location. 

The trip to Florida, of Avhich these "Rambles" afford a 
mere outline, was not devoid of scientific interest, and the 
results will be made known at some future time, either iu 
the Naturalist or some other appropriate publication. 



THE NATURALIST IN CALIFORNIA. 

BY J. G. COOPER, M. D. 



NO. II. 

The Colorado Valleij in ivinter. — I arrived at Fort Mo- 
jave, after a journey of sixteen clays from Los Angeles,* 
on December 19th, 18G0. This post is situated close to 
latitude 35°, where the boundary line of California strikes 
the river, and although on the Arizonian side, has, probably, 
no species of animals not also living on the west bank of 
the river, unless Lejjus callotis be an exception. This, the 
Texan hare, I found common there, while L. Californicus 
is the prevalent, if not the only large species westward. 
The valley of the Colorado at this post is, probably, ten 
miles in width, and formed of a succession of gravell}'' ter- 
races, or mesas, with a narrow sandy bottom intervening, 

*Not Angelos, as printed before. Spanish, not Italian. 



NATURALIST IN CALIFORNIA. 471 

not over a mile wide. The whole upland has a most barren 
and desolate aspect, the only vegetation being low shrubs of 
the fetid Larrea Mexicana, with cacti and other tliorny 
plants beneath. The bottom land, however, supi)orts a 
vio-orous growth of cottonwood, willows, and niesquite, 
a name applied there to two quite ditierent trees, the Alga- 
robia glandulosa and 8ti'omhocarpa jmbescens. Dense shrub- 
bery and coarse grasses cover most of the ground, even 
under the darkest shade, though spots are sometimes too 
alkaline for any vegetation except a few sea-shore plants, 
and in places the winds keep up a rolling waste of sand 
hills. The river itself is so low in winter that the Indians 
can wade across with their heads above water, and is so 
muddy as to fully deserve its name. 

After my desert experience, I gazed with delight on the 
broad flashing stream, with its forest-clad banks, even though 
the trees were then bare, and the whole country nearly of 
the same brown tint as the river, for I knew that the very 
barrenness of the surrounding regions must drive most of 
the animal life to the river banks, one class in search of 
vegetable food the other to prey upon the former, while 
such as loved water must necessarily seek it here. And, 
with the exceptions mentioned as desert animals in my for- 
mer article, nearly all of the higher animals are confined to 
this narrow belt of timber, stretching along the course of 
the Colorado from its Great Canon, thirty miles higher up, 
down to its mouth. Those living permanently on the up- 
lands must depend on a very scanty supply of dew for water 
during most of the year. 

I must remark here that in climate this region belongs to 
Mexico, the winter being the drj/ season, and the summer 
subject to violent thunder storms from the south, but not 
wet, the whole annual rain not exceeding three or four 
inches, of which perhaps one falls in winter. The tempera- 
ture rarely falls below the freezing point in latitude od°, 
althouirh the surroundins: mountains were white with snow 



472 NATURALIST IN CALIFORNIA. 

ou several occasions during January. The elevation of the 
river at this point is not over 550 feet, and the whole bottom 
land is inundated nearly every summer. The distance by 
the course of the river from its mouth is 400 miles. 

Tlie fauna of the valley naturally partakes much of the 
Mexican (west slope) character, and has some peculiarities. 
It is too limited and too liable to inundation for many land 
mammalia to flourish in it, except such as are common to the 
neighboring deserts and mountains. A second species, at 
present known no farther west, is the Leaf-nosed Bat (3Ia- 
crotus CaUfornicus) from Fort Yuma. This bat, like the 
birds, is independent of floods, and is probably migratory 
southward in winter, like two species I obtained at Fort 
Mojave — the Pale Bat (Antrozous pcdlidus), and a small 
species of Vespevtilio which did not appear until March 15th, 
thonoh the climate was warm enough for weeks before. 

On walking out with my gun I was struck with surprise 
at the great numbers of Abert's Finch {Pipilo Abertii) 
frequenting the grove, the flocks flitting before me like dry 
leaves before the wind, their color exactly resembling the 
prevailing hue of the foliage covering the ground, and now 
densely coated with brown dust. It recalled the observation 
I had often made as to the prevalence of this brown hue in 
so many birds of California, of difl'ercnt genera and fami- 
lies, but agreeing in their habit of living in low shrubbery 
which has the same brown and dusty tint for eight or nine 
months of the year. The loud call or alarm note of this 
bird Avas strikingly dift'erent from the notes of its more 
silent cousin near the coast, the P. fuscus (or crissalis), but 
I soon noticed another strange fact, namely, that this note 
Avas also uttered by two other very distinct birds of dissim- 
ilar habits, the Shining Flycatcher and Gila Woodpecker 
( Centurus uroj)ygidlis) , both of which were abundant and 
feeding together on the berries of the mistletoe, parasitic 
on almost every tree. These birds Avere my first specimens, 
together with the common Grass Finch (Pooeceies grami- 



NATURALIST IN CALIFORNIA. 473 

neus) and Chipping Sparrow {Sjpizella socialis), which were 
wintering there in small flocks. 

Next day I was disgusted to find my specimens damaged 
by mice, and, on setting a trap, soon secured some which 
I cannot distinguish, except by a lighter hye, from the 
common woodmouse of California {Ilesperomys GamheUii). 
These, with several other rodents, had taken up their resi- 
dence in the thatched roofs of our adobe quarters. On 
Christmas eve a little ice formed in the valley, but next 
morning the Brown Thrush {Harporhynchus crissalis) of 
this region Avas singing melodiously, and exactly in the style 
of its cousins east and west, so well known as "False 
Mockins: Birds." It is another of the dead leaf-colored 
birds of the western regions, and is as strictly limited to 
the groves as its pale sandy-hued relative, II. Lecontei, is to 
the desert shrubbery.* 

The end of the year was cold and stormy for this latitude, 
so that no additions, except more northern migrants, were 
obtained among the birds, the most notable being the Ore- 
gon Snowbird (Junco Oregonus), and a few of the Meadow 
Lark [Sturnella negleda) , vfith several species of ducks and 
geese. In January, Swans (Ci/gnus Americanus) also ap- 
peared for a few days. On Jan. 10th I was both surprised 
and pleased to obtain a beautiful specimen of the Bohemian 
Waxwing (Ampelis garrulus), which had wandered so far 
from the mountains north-eastward, where the species 
abounds, and, probably driven by storms, had sought a tem- 
porary refuge iu this far southern latitude. It was a solitary 
straggler, and even its cousin, A. cedrorum, never appeared 
there during my residence. 

On the 16th a solitary Mexican Flycatcher {Myiarchus 
Mexicanus), evidently almost starved, gave a specimen of 
the summer group of migrants lingering in the valley 

* I may here correct an error caused by the transposition of a line in my last article. 
"Con-espondiiig in color to the rocks among which it lives," was intended for Ilams's 
Squirrel, tliough it loould apply pretty well to the Sage Fowl under which it is printed. 

AMER. NATURALIST, VOL. III. 60 



474 NATURALIST IN CALIFORNIA. 

through the whiter. Vegetation was just commencing to 
bud forth now, and I observed a few Doves and Cow-birds 
{Molothrus pecoris), apparently attracted by the opening 
spring, as none appeared before. I cannot enumerate all 
the species of vertebrates which now amounted to over 
fifty, as I collected them, but must notice only the more re- 
markable. The resident species not found westward of this 
valley were the Ladder Woodpecker {Plcus scalaris), the 
White-bellied Wren (^Tkriothorus leuco g aster) , Gambel's 
Quail (^Loj)hortyx Gamhellii), the Arizona Song-sparrow 
{Melosjnza fallax) , the lead-colored Gnatcatcher {^Polio])tila 
plumbea), Malherbe's Flicker (^Cola/ptes chrysoides), and the 
Yellow-headed Titmouse (Auriparus Jlaviceps). Besides 
these, most of the species before mentioned are resident, 
and also many common to the coast regions. Frosty nights 
throughout January seemed to prevent the appearance of 
any new birds. Even in February the ucav comers were 
only such as I know winter in more northern parts of Cali- 
fornia near the coast, though the thermometer rose to 80° 
on the 20th. 

February 27th, a few Bank Swallows {Ootyle riparia^ 
or serripennis* ) and bicolored Swallows {Hirundo bicolor) 
appeared. Even these last winter near the coast much 
farther north, to latitude 37°. It appears that there is little 
migration along this valley of the species common in sum- 
mer near the coast, as they have to cross the deserts, and 
prefer a more Avestern route. Some of the icinter residents 
however became more scarce, probably seeking the moun- 
tains or high lands not more than a hundred miles distant, 
while the strong-winged hawks and swimmers may have 
gone even to the arctic regions. 

Spring. — By March 2d, the poplars ("cottonwood") were 
in nearly full leaf, and beautiful flowers covered the richer 



*Dr. Kennerley found this species here " abundant," February 21st, 1854. Also, the 
White-throated Swift (Paiti/pfila melanohticn), at William's Fork, February IGth, and 
Western Whippoorwill {Autrostomus NuttalUi), February 23d. 



NATURALIST IN CALIFOKNIA. 475 

and warmer spots, chiefly in the ravines of the neighboring 
monntains. A cluck was seen by an old resident on the 
river, which he said was very rare there, and from descrip- 
tion was probably the long-logged Tree-duck {Dendrocyr/na 
fulva), since found to frequent the Sacramento Valley for 
nine months of the year, and to ])reed there ; one of the few 
peculiarly western species. I shot or observed many other 
species of aquatic birds while here, but they furnished no 
very interesting facts. I obtained one each of the Red- 
necked and Williamson's Woodpeckers (^Sphyrapicus nitcha- 
lis and Williamsonii), the only ones seen, and probably 
straii-o'lers from the north. 

I had been ten weeks at the post before I saw a single 
Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) , and then found only 
one pair, several miles distant, inhabiting a burrow evidently 
freshly dug by themselves. In the absence of the large bur- 
rowing squirrels, or other animals of similar size, they are 
sometimes compelled to burrow, but do not seem to increase 
in numbers in such localities. The general hardness of the 
soil on the upland is also an obstacle to their digging. 

On March 10th I observed the first Hummingbird (prob- 
ably Atthis cosfce, which Dr. Kennerley found in February 
1854, in the warmer valley of W^illiam's Fork), and the 
same day saw larije flocks of geese miirratino: north. The 
first Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) was killed this day, and I 
obtained the first Horned Lizard (DoUosaurus platyrhinos) . 
The weather now being very warm, flocks of cranes, swal- 
lows, and various winter residents were seen going north- 
ward daily. On the 15th I saw the first Bat and Western 
Whippoorwill, and on the U)th shot another Mexican Fly- 
catcher, probably also a winter resident. There is evi- 
dently a constant moving northward of the winter residents, 
but apparently none from Mexico. 

On March 22d I obtained the first seen of the Pale Spar- 
row (SpizeUa pallida*), which seems to go fiirther south to 

* Decidedly this and not S. Breioerii, ■which Coues supposes to replace it in Arizona 
and westwards. 



476 NATURALIST IN CALIFORNIA. 

winter than the S. socialis, but the first birds which I could 
consider as probably the leaders of the summer migration, 
were, as it happened, of a new species, viz., Helminihopliaga 
Luciae, or Lucy's Warbler, which I shot at first sight on 
March 29th, the two first being males, and attracting my 
notice by their notes, as their small size and concealment in 
the dense mesquite thickets, which were just leafing out, 
would have otherwise prevented tlieir discovery for a long 
time. They may even be winter residents in the valley like 
the allied //. celata. 

The first nest I found Avith eggs was that of a Shrike 
(^LaniiLS excubitoroides) on the 19th, and on the 2 (3th ob- 
tained the first eggs of the Quail, of the Yellow-headed 
Titmouse (which builds an extraordinary closed nest of 
thorny twigs, like the magpies's in miniature), and of 
Abert's Pipilo. 

Burrows were not uncommon which may have been made 
by Foxes or by the Badger {Taxidea Aynericana). On 
March 30th, visiting a steel trap which I had set for bur- 
rowing animals I was surprised to find in it a Swift Fox 
( Vul/pes velox) caught by the toes. Having no way of se- 
curing it alive, I was obliged to make a dead specimen of it 
at once, fearing it might tear itself away. This is one of 
the mammalia which has not yet been detected west of the 
Colorado, though it undoubtedly exists there, and is indeed 
but a dwarf variety of the common Red Fox. Other mam- 
mals which I had obtained were Gambel's Woodmouse, be- 
fore mentioned ; Audubon's Hare (fur finer than near the 
coast, approaching Lepus artsmisioe) , Coyote (Cams la- 
trans), killed by the dogs while running through the camp 
one moonlight night in January ; Brush-tailed Rat {Perog- 
nallius penicillatus) , quite common in the thatched roofs ; 
Dark Woodmouse {He^ijperomys austerusf), before ibund 
only in Washington Territory, but undistinguishable by de- 
scriptions ; Boyle's Woodmouse, probably a mere long-tailed 
variety of Gambel's ; the Mexican Woodrat (JSTeotoma Mex- 



NATURALIST IN CALIFORNIA. 477 

icana), common and very large; Phillip's Jumping-r:it {Di- 
jpodomys FJiilUppii), common, and an invader of dwellings. 
The Texan Hare I have already mentioned. The Indians 
also brought in a fawn, apparently of the OeiDUS Columhia- 
nus, which seems to be the conmion species along the river, 
although others probably exist. They also brought a young 
antelope, of which herds were seen on the neighboring 
mesas during the short period of green vegetation in spring. 
A Wild-cat {Lynx rufus) was often seen at dusk al)out the 
post garden, where I attempted to shoot it but failed for 
want of light. My inquiries about the Californian Opossum 
found along the Mexican boundary, did not indicate its ex- 
istence in this valley, though it will be found there if au}^- 
wdiere in California, nor did I learn of any other carnivo- 
rous mammals. Beavers are quite common in the river and 
grow to an enormous size; Gophers [Thoinomys fttlvus) are 
also common. 

Compared with Kennerley's collections, in 1854, and 
Cones', in 18G5, at Fort Whipple, the first quarter of 1861 
must have been unusually cold. April proved to be the 
month for the arrival of the great body of summer birds, 
althouirh a week before I saw what I took to be a Fork- 
tailed Flycatcher {Milvulus foi'ficatusf), a species never yet 
obtained west of the Rocky Mountains, and a Scarlet Fl}^- 
catcher {Pyrocephalus Mexicanus) , which is a rare summer 
visitor, about which I could not be mistaken, though neither 
would allow of a near approach. I obtained the following, 
usually as soon as observed: April 2d, Adhis costce; 3d, 
Bullock's Oriole (Icterus BuUockii) ; and saw an Empidonax, 
Barn Swallows, and Summer Yellow-bird ; a ground Cuckoo 
(Geococcyx Calif or nianiis) laid an egg in its cage. 11th, 
shot an Obscure Flycatcher (Emjjidonax obscurus). 17th, 
Texan Nighthawk ( Chordelles Texensis) , and saw the first 
eggs of Orioles. 24th, McGillivray's Warbler {GeotJdypis 
McGilUvrayi) , Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria viridis, not 
long-tailed), Arkansas Kingbird (Tyrannus veriicalis). 



478 NATURALIST IN CALIFORNIA. 

25th, found the eggs of Common Doves. 26th, shot a new 
species of Owl {Micrathene Whitneyi) iu a dark thicket. 
28th, Summer Ked-bird [Pijranga oestiva). 29th, found a 
nest and two eggs of the Shining Flycatcher. In this month 
I saw an unknown species of Oriole in the high trees, like 
Icterus Parisorum Bouap. 

On April 6th I trapped a squirrel, of a species which I 
had not before observed, a third larger than Harris', and 
dark-brown instead of gray, but with proportions and mark- 
ings so exactly like the desert species, that, remembering 
the varieties of the Four-striped Tamias, I did not dare to 
consider this distinct. It was all I saw of the kind, which 
may be common in the wooded mountains of Arizona. On 
the 13th I obtained the first Pale Bat, before noted. 

Reptiles had now become common in the valley, and were 
mostly distinct species from those of the deserts. Besides 
those mentioned, a large Fence Lizard (Sceloporus ma- 
gister?), eight inches long, began to frequent the trees 
March 20th, and on the 23d, three young of my new Laud 
Tortoise {Xerohales Agassizii) were brought from the moun- 
tains by Indians. The Thirsty Lizard (^Dipsosaurus dor- 
salis) became connnon in the ravines near by, far from 
water. On the 30th I caught Graham's Salvadora (^S. Gra- 
hamii)^ a pretty harmless snake living in the grassy valley. 
April 15th, Woodhouse's Toad* first appeared on the drier 
banks; 17th, Churchill's Bull-snake {Pituophis beUona) ; 
26th, Boyle's Milk-snake {Lamjyropeltis Boylii) ; 29th, the 
Coppery Whip-snake (^Masticojohis testaceus), and some very 
swift lizards (^Croiajj/ii/lus sp.) which I did not succeed in 
catching, appeared on the desert plains. 

On May 1st I shot the Little Flycatcher (Pmpidonax pu- 
sillus), which I then mistook for P. Traillii, but find by my 
notes that this one differed from a true specimen of the lat- 
ter, shot on May 20th, in having the lower mandible brown- 
ish instead of yellowish and iu proportions. It was lost, with 

♦Dr. Keuneiiey found toads nt William's Fork, Febniary 18th, 1864. 



NATURALIST IN CALIFORNIA. 479 

a valuable collection sent by the "Golden Gate," on the way 
to Washington, but I happened to reserve the other one, 
about the occurrence of which west of the Rocky Mountains 
there has been some discussion.* 

May (Jth, shot the first Blue Grosbeak (Guh'aca coerulea) ; 
14th, the Blue-headed Grcenlet ( FtVeo solitavius^), \;\\\(A\ 
Dr. Cones omits from the birds of Arizona, supposing it to 
be his V. plumheus, which however is quite distinct, and one 
I did not obtain. $ 

May 19th I found a nest of the Yellow-breasted Chat 
containins: thrcic eirijs, besides one of the parasitic Cow-bird ; 
on the 8th a nest of the House Finch, or Red Linnet (Car- 
podacus frontalis), wdth eggs, and on the 19th that of the 
Song Sparrow [Melospiza fcdlax).§ May 20th I first saw 
the Blue Linnet (Ci/anospiza amoena), and shot Hammond's 
and Traill's Flycatchers (Empidonax Hammondii and E. 

* See Coues' List of Birds of Fort Whipple, Arizona, in " Proceedings of tlie Pliila- 
delpliia Academy of Natural Science," January, 186G. Compare also Coues, in " Ibis," 
April, 181)5, and July, 18GG; Baird on Distribution of Birds, in " Silliman's Journal," and 
my article on Additions to the Fauna of California, in the " Proceedings of the Califor- 
nia Academy of Sciences," 1\, iii, November, ISfiS. 

tLength4.87; extent 9; M'ing 3 inches; bill black; lower mandible bluish; feet lead 
color; iris brown; male. 

X I take this occasion to notice the prevalence of lead-gray among the arboreal birds 
of these arid regions, just as brown prevails among the more terrestrial. It replaces 
the brown, olive or greenish, in many species also found in moister and more wooded 
regions, while others, difl"ering in other respects from their eastern representatives, 
are considered as distinct species peculiar to these regions. The Pigeon Hawk (Falco 
columbarius), Mottled Owl {Scops asio var. McCalUi), Niglit Hawk {Chordeiles popetue 
var. Ilenryi), Icteria viridls var. longicauda, Thriothorus {Bewickii var.?) leucogaster, 
Pocecetes {(/rconineus var. ?) conjinis, Melaspiza {melodia var. ?) fallax, Sturnella (imigna 
var. ?) »ej^/ec<rt, and Ground Dove {Chaiiunpelia pusserina var. pallescens), furnish exam- 
ples of more or less marked difl'erences in tliis respect IVom those of other regions. The 
gray species as usually recognized, are the Hare lliiwk (Falco ])olyogriis), Squirrel Hawk 
{Archibuteo fernigineus), Micraihene Whitneyi, Nuttall's Whippoorwill {Atitroftomus 
Kuttallii), Weatern Kingbirds {Tyrannus vociferans and rcrficn^ts). Say's Pewee {Say- 
ornis Sayiis), Empidonax obscurus, PoUoptUa plumbea, Grace's Warbler {Dendrceca 
Gracice Coues) of Fort Whipple, Ilelminthophaga LucicB, Swainson's Vireo ( V. Sicain- 
soni), Lead-colored Vireo ( ('. plumbeiis), Cones' Vireo ( V. vicinior) ; these last three IVom 
Fort Whipple; Little Xiveo (V. piisillns), Lead-colored Titmouse (/'sa/^ri^arus plum- 
belts), Lawrence's Goldfinch {Chrysomitris Lawrencii), Pale Snowbird {Junco caniceps), 
all of which have darker-colored representatives either east of the Mississippi, or on 
the west coast, or both, Avhjle some of them extend theii- range to one or both of those 
natural boundaries. 

§ The nesting, as well as the arrival of many birds, was ftom one to two months 
later than at San Diego in 1802. 



480 NATURALIST IJ^ CALIFORNIA. 

TrailUi) ; also, Ricburdson's Pewee {Contopus Ricliard- 
sonii) and Black-cap Warbler (^Mijiodioctes pusillus) .* Tbe 
only mammals I obtained were a small Bat ( VespertiUo Yu- 
manensis?) , and tbe typical gray variety of Harris' Sper- 
mopbile, sbot some miles from tbe river on Maj^ 28tb, tbe 
day I started to retnrn to tbe coast. Tbe reptiles added 
were tbe Colorado Toad {Biifo alvarius)^ an enormous 
semiaquatic species nearly as smootb as a frog ; and several 
otbers on tbe way westward wbicb do not ai3pear to inhabit 
tbe valley. 

^ Fisb seemed to be scarce in tbis muddy river, and I only 
obtained tbree sjDecies of cyprinoids : a large one called Col- 
orado Salmon (^PtycJiocheilus lucius), a Gila (6r. robusiaf), 
and one allied to tbe Suckers [Catostomus) . Mollusca were 
equally rare, and a few specimens of tbe remarkable Physa 
humerosa and PJanorbis amnion were all I found. My col- 
lection of vertebrata made at Fort Mojave numbered 100 
species, and 250 specimens. 

I migbt enumerate many otber species tlmt bave been ob- 
tained in tbe Colorado Valley by otber collectors, but it 
would be too long a list. I bave, altogetber, counted up 
twenty-tbree species of mammals, one bundred and nine- 
teen birds, and ten reptiles, as found tbere at various sea- 
sons, some of wbicb I beard of as visiting Fort Mojave 
later tban my stay tbere. By May 15tb tbe spring rains 
w^ere over and tbe sbort vegetation of tbe mesas was drying 
up. About tbis time also tbe river was rising rapidly, 
bringing down cold water from tbe mountains, and moder- 
ating tbe beat wbicb bad been as bigb as 116° in tbe sbade 
on April 20tb. Tbe summer wind began to blow from tbe 
south, and would, probably, bring some of tbe latest birds 
witb it, wbile otbers would come after tbe floods to seek tbe 
food left by tbe subsiding waters. Among tbese bave been 
seen tbe strange Vulture-eagles (Poli/borus Audubonii and 

*On tlie 27th I saw the only one of the rare Western W&vhlev {Dendraca periden- 
talis), and the first Sea-gi-een Swallows. 



HINTS ON TAXIDERMY. 481 

Craxirex unicinctus), the little Ground Dove, and the quaint 
Wood Ibis, called there "Colorado Turkey" {Tantalus locu- 
lator) . 

My object has been to give merely a sketch of the pro- 
gress of the fauna! seasons, as I saw them. 



HINTS ON TAXIDERMY. 

BY C. A. WALKER. 

[Concluded from page 201.1 

The method of shinning and mounting tortoises and turtles. 
— By examining the exterior covering of this order it Avill 
be seen that it consists of two horny plates or shields, which 
are closely united at the sides, forming a protection to the 
soft parts of the body ; the upper one is called the carapace, 
and the lower one the sternum or breast bone. Before com- 
mencing the operation of skinning it is necessary to sepa- 
rate these two plates by means of a strong knife, chisel, or 
other similar instrument, or a fine saw, taking great care to 
make the separation at the suture, as far as possible, and 
to avoid cracking the shell. After this operation has been 
finished remove all the flesh adhering to both the upper and 
under plates. The arrangement of the bones and muscles 
difters so essentially from that of the other orders of verte- 
brates that attention should be given to this point in remov- 
ing the various parts. The fore and hind legs should be 
turned out, and all the flesh adhering to them removed, 
taking care not to separate these various parts from their 
attachments to the upper shell ; also, the neck and head 
should undergo the same opei'ation, the brain and eyes being 
removed. The inner surface should now be thoroughly 
cleaned by means of a stiff" brush, and the preservative ap- 
plied to every part, after which they may be restored to 

AMKR, NATURALIST, VOL. III. 61 



482 HINTS ON TAXIDERMY. 

position, having previously filled the eye sockets and cavity 
of the brain with cotton. In stufiing, commence by re- 
storing the neck to its natural form with cut tow. A wire 
(the body support), well pointed, should next be inserted at 
the top of the head, upon the outer surface, and passed 
down through the cut toAv within the neck, across the space 
previously occupied by the body, and thence through the 
tail until it protrudes at the tip of the same. The other 
wires, or leg supports, should be inserted at the soles of each 
foot, up within the skin of the legs, and secured firmly to 
the main body support. The adjustment of the wires is 
essentiall}' the same as recommended in the mounting of the 
larger mammalia. The various muscles should now be imi- 
tated with cut tow, and the upper and under plates joined. 
This may be accomplished by bi-inging them together, and 
boring four small holes with an awl, two at one end, the 
one above and the other beneath the suture, and the same 
at the other end, uniting them by means of fine annealed 
wire. Cement may also be used with advantage in this oper- 
ation. The carapace may be cleaned with a weak solution 
of nitric acid and water, washing it freely ; afterwards it 
may be oiled and rubbed with a piece of flannel. 

Of crocodiles ondlizards in general. — All of the smaller 
species should be preserved iu spirits, of about 75 per cent 
strength. The larger of this group are skinned in the same 
manner as a quadruped ; especial care is, however, required 
in skinning the tails, as they are very liable to break. But 
little preservative is needed, the skins being of a dry nature. 
They may also be stuffed in the same manner as a quadruped, 
and little skill is required to get them in shape. 

Of serpents. — With the larger specimens, such as cannot 
be readily preserved in alcohol, the following method should 
be adopted in removing the skin. Open the mouth to its 
utmost capacity and insert therein a stick to retain it in this 
position. With the aid of the scalpel sever the body from 
the head within the skin, leaving no attachments whatever. 



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